Nearly 20 years of minimal woodland management across several courses in Scotland has come to an end thanks to the Fife Golf Trust and their purchase of a GreenMech QuadTrak chipper and trailer.
Fife Council owns seven golf courses and the Trust has maintenance responsibilities for all of them. Golf Courses Manager Paul Murphy and his team of 21 greenkeepers has now put the disposal of the woody waste firmly back on the agenda with their recent purchase.
"Each course is equipped with a basic fleet of machinery for routine maintenance, however we also have a bank of equipment that's shared between the sites" explains Paul, who has been with the trust for five and a half years. Prior to Paul joining, woodland management had been on the back burner, something that changed two years ago. "We're now a couple of years into a long overdue tree thinning programme, for which we use an external contractor. However, following the work they mainly conduct with tree harvesters, we found there was a lot of material that required clearing."
When hiring a chipper was ruled out for being too costly, Paul lead the search for a chipper that would fulfil the requirements of the various courses. "We looked at a few alternatives, but I was keen on the GreenMech product from previous experience. We had a demonstration of the QuadTrak from local dealer Henderson Grass Machinery and were impressed with how it performed. That, together with the back up support from them as a dealer and the no quibble warranty from GreenMech, sealed the deal." Paul took delivery of the QuadTrak, together with a bespoke road-towable trailer in February 2018.
"Having the tracked chipper complete with a trailer gives us the best of both worlds. The self-levelling tracks are fantastic for work on uneven ground while the trailer makes it easy to transport the chipper around the course or between sites." While it'll earn its keep mainly between November and February, should anything come down during the season, the team are now equipped to deal with it. "The machine is simple to operate, build quality is fantastic and all of these elements combined will help us ensure our courses are tidy for the start of the season, for many years to come."